How To Play Zarya In Overwatch 2

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Zarya is a Tank Hero in Overwatch 2 who utilizes barriers to protect herself and her allies. When playing as Zarya, you’ll need to be mindful of the positions of your teammates, and know when to push ahead of them to secure the objective.


Related: Overwatch 2: Sojourn Hero Guide

Zarya is one of the more difficult Tanks to play, but her aggressive kit allows her to deal tons of damage to the enemy while protecting her team. Let’s take a look at each of Zarya’s abilities, and some tips for using them.


Zarya Ability Overview

AbilityDescription
Basic Attack – Particle Cannon
  • Primary Fire Damage: 75 per second (no energy), 170 per second (max energy)
  • Secondary Fire Damage: 50 (no energy), 100 (max energy)
  • Ammo: 100
  • Primary Fire fires a concentrated beam of energy, rapidly draining ammo. Secondary fire launches a grenade of energy, dealing splash damage where it lands. Secondary Fire costs 25 ammo, and both fire modes have increased damage the higher Zarya’s Energy level is.
First Ability – Particle Barrier
  • Damage Absorbed: 200
  • Duration: 2.5 seconds, or after absorbing 200 damage
  • Cooldown: 10 seconds, stores 2 charges
  • Projects a bubble around Zarya that absorbs up to 200 damage, converting it into Energy. Shares a cooldown with Projected Barrier.
Second Ability – Projected Barrier
  • Damage Absorbed: 200
  • Duration: 2.5 seconds, or after absorbing 200 damage
  • Cooldown: 10 seconds, stores 2 charges
  • Projects a bubble around an ally that absorbs up to 200 damage, converting it into Energy. Shares a cooldown with Particle Barrier.
Ultimate – Graviton Surge
  • Damage per second: 5
  • Duration: 3.5 seconds
  • Fires a concentrated ball of gravity that draws enemies towards it, holding them in place for the duration.
Passive – Energy
  • Damage done to Zarya’s Particle and Projected Barriers is converted into Energy, increasing the damage of her Particle Cannon.

Zarya has a base health of 475, divided into 250 health and 225 shields. As a Tank Hero, Zarya has increased knockback resistance, and enemies will generate less Ultimate charge from damaging her. However, healing her will also provide less Ultimate charge generation to ally Support Heroes.

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Tips And Tricks For Playing Zarya

Zarya can be difficult to get the hang of, as she doesn’t easily mitigate as much damage as other Tanks. To help you learn this Hero a bit better, here are a few tips and tricks for using her abilities.

Basic Attack Bounce

Zarya’s secondary fire for her basic attack launches a small energy grenade that deals damage in an area. Like other explosives in the game, using this near yourself can damage you, and will knock you back slightly. However, you can use this to your advantage.

If you use the secondary fire underneath yourself right as you jump, you can gain additional air, allowing you to reach higher areas. This can be used to get over walls or reach higher vantage points on certain maps.

Additionally, the primary fire of Zarya’s basic attack has much higher damage per second than her secondary fire, but you’ll need to be more accurate when using it. Although the beam increases in size with higher Energy, you’ll still need to accurately track enemies to deal damage with it. Against large or stationary targets, her primary fire will deal much more damage with a full clip of ammo than four shots of her secondary fire.

Besting The Bubble

Zarya’s protective bubble barriers are her number one asset, and something you’ll need to always keep track of. Both of her protective barriers share a cooldown, meaning you’ll need to carefully decide which one to use at any given moment. Usually, you’ll want to use her personal bubble, as this will allow you to more accurately control how much damage you are taking, and thus how much Energy you absorb.

However, in some cases, you may want to save a charge of your barriers to place on an ally who is using their Ultimate. Heroes like Soldier: 76, Genji, Pharah, or Cassidy, who may be vulnerable during their Ultimate, can be saved by a well-timed barrier. Communicate with your team to determine when your allies will use their Ultimates, and save a Projected Barrier for these instances.

Additionally, both bubbles can be used to clear negative effects like anti-heal or slow. Using Zarya’s bubbles in this way, you can escape or help allies out of Mei’s Ultimate, remove an enemy Ana’s anti-heal, or protect a teammate from Tracer’s Pulse Bomb.

Pair Up Ultimates

Zarya’s Ultimate, Graviton Surge, is one of the most powerful Ultimates in the game, but it needs to be coordinated with another teammate to gain full effectiveness. Most damage Heroes will benefit from having the enemy team stuck inside Graviton Surge, so be sure to coordinate with your team when your Ultimate is ready to fire.

In a pinch, Zarya’s secondary fire can be used to secure a few eliminations from enemies trapped inside Graviton Surge, although healing, barriers, or shields can quickly negate your damage.

Additionally, be very careful when launching your Ultimate. Because Graviton Surge fires a projectile, it can be absorbed by abilities like D.Va’s Defense Matrix, or Deflected by Genji. When fighting against D.Va, use your Ultimate behind her, when she has been knocked out of her mech, or when you’re sure she doesn’t have Defense Matrix up.

Next: Overwatch 2: Reinhardt Hero Guide



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